UPDATE: 2.32pm - Telstra appears to be back, with access to Telstra.com.au and BigPond.com now restored, making for a very short outage, although one that did affect multiple people I know across Sydney, as well as myself in Canberra. A friend's Skype message just noted Melbourne was out, too. Whatever it was... it definitely happened, and it's good to see that, at least for now, it is resolved. More from Telstra when we get it.
UPDATE: Telstra confirmed on Twitter that an outage did indeed occur. The outage was national, and started at 1.50pm AEDT and ended at 2.30pm AEDT. Telstra spokespeople still haven't responded to my emails asking what happened.
Original story continues below:
I was first alerted to the issue around 20 minutes ago when a friend called to ask why his "Google" was down. I tried "Teamviewering" in to his computer, only to discover that I couldn't get a connection, with someone else at my friend's location telling me their Telstra phone also couldn't connect to the Internet.
So, I tried one smartphone with a Tesltra SIM, and my Telstra SIM-powered iPad, only to discover that they wouldn't go online either - and I'm here in Canberra at the moment, hundreds of kilometres away from my friends in Sydney.
Then, another friend called, asking why their Telstra ADSL and wireless modems weren't allowing them to connect. I've been trying to connect to Bigpond.com and Telstra.com.au - all to no avail, so I can't check whether or not Telstra has any status udpates, while also realising this is probably one heck of a big outage.
In addition, two Telstra media spokespersons that I contact from time to time aren't answering their phones, which often means there's some kind of crisis going on at Telstra and that they don't have time - or don't want - to talk to the media.
Unlike the rather pathetic political fight engulfing Australia's left-of-centre Labor Party, one can only hope that Telstra and BigPond are back up well before next Monday.
We'll have more information as soon as we get it!